Preview: Vampyr, From the Developers Of ‘Life is Strange’

You might know the name DONTNOD Entertainment, but do you know Vampyr? People know DONTNOD Entertainment as the small studio in the heart of Paris behind the Life is Strange...
Vampyr Preview: From the Developers Of 'Life is Strange'
Credit: Flicker.com

You might know the name DONTNOD Entertainment, but do you know Vampyr? People know DONTNOD Entertainment as the small studio in the heart of Paris behind the Life is Strange series. They plan to continue their success with their latest game, Vampyr. The title is set to release later this year and will be vastly different from Life is Strange. Instead of the modern day, Vampyr takes place in 1918 in London. Can the developers make the change in genre effective? We address this question in our preview of Vampyr.

Vampyr at E3 2017

DONTNOD Entertainment E3 showcase gives us a little taste of the new title. A little trailer and some snippets of gameplay for us to speculate on. The trailer shows the streets where a bloody war between vampire and humans is being fought. Humans are desperately fighting on the losing side in the dark of the night. With the sparse details we have, we know the protagonist is a vampire. One who as cliche as it is, doesn’t want to the blood of innocent citizens, opting instead to be a surgeon.

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[E3 2017] Vampyr – E3 Trailer

Why should you care about this game?

Gameplay Preview

DONTNOD Entertainment’s first project “Remember Me” features fighting mechanics that are solid and flowing with combos for every encounter. The environmental movement is also key in progressing through the city utilising platforming and climbing mechanics. Vampyr also uses similar fighting styles coupled with demonic powers which aid you in combat. One power levitated a victim by suspending the victim’s arms and legs, then speared them through the heart. Using these powers will likely attract attention from bystanders, but could prove vital to succeed in combat situations.

The gameplay shown at an earlier date showed the protagonist walking around the city, interacting with humans as if he is one of their own, talking to them and trying to isolate them to feed on when there are no witnesses. Analysing who has the best blood and what the victim is like as a personality all factors into what the world impact of their demise shall be.

Life is Strange

Life is Strange features a brilliant story which captures you with intrigue. Max Caulfield discovers the power of reversing time and a girl has gone missing. Recently reconnected with her best friend Chloe, they try to solve the mysteries of Arcadia Bay. It’s one of the best story driven games that I have ever played. With this title behind the developer as experience, I have no doubt that Vampyr will have a breath-taking story that will leave you wanting more. Mechanically they differ further than ever which could hinder the storytelling. Considering the difference, Vampyr will need to involve a differential way of telling the story which could spell difficulty in maintaining the level of quality seen in Life is Strange.

Vampyr Preview: From the Developers Of 'Life is Strange'

Life is Strange was set in Oregon, USA (Credit: Flickr.com)

Concluding Thoughts

Do I think DONTNOD Entertainment can pull off Vampyr into a success? Yes, I do. With the feedback from Remember Me leading to combat improvement and refinement. Careful collaboration with the writer of Life is Strange, could well make Vampyr a game that makes its mark on the industry from a technical and creative standpoint.

With five months to go until release, the developers have time left to make sure that Vampyr is the pinnacle of their ability. We’ll see whether the developers can adapt the semi-linear design of Remember Me into an RPG. Unlike the norm of the current RPG genre, a smaller space compliments the gameplaythey’re going for. Size will make all the difference here. With the size of real life London, it may be tempting to make the world too big. A larger map size would make the tactical influence of kills less influential due to a larger pool of irrelevant NPCs which won’t have an impact on the behaviour of the city population.

If you like games that require analysis and careful planning I think that you will like this game. Finding ways to isolate and feed upon unsuspecting victims will be a main point of the game. Especially when the whole city can react to the murder of the wrong person.

Graphically I think that this game will impress everyone that plays it. The design looks to fit the air and push the horror genre to a very high standard. Light sources are few and far between with darkness spreading over the sparsely populated streets of post-war London. A setting that is yet to prove itself to the industry.

I will certainly be watching this game closely.

Vampyr is now available via Steam and other online retailers for pre-order, releasing within November.  An exact release date is yet to be announced.

I am a student studying video games and business at the University of Portsmouth. Current platforms are Xbox One and PC.
  • Honestly, I’ll be happy if they don’t sparkle haha. I do love Vampires as a theme but it has been a while since I’ve seen a depiction I liked (Legacy of Kain, my god it was good) so I’ll remain cautiously excited

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